CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A car owner wasn’t sure what to do when he needed repairs redone, which he had a lifetime warranty on, but the dealership that had done the work had gone out of business.
Gerald Gibson was involved in a car accident and needed body work repairs done that cost $2,000 to $3,000.
He says his insurance company, State Farm, told him that if he picked one of its “preferred” body shops, the dealership would give him a lifetime warranty on the repairs.
Gibson chose Buddy Stasney Buick GMC or Buddy Stasney Automotive – the business changed names and it’s not clear what it was called when Gibson was there, but Action 9 had been investigating the Lincoln County car dealer for more than six years.
On Thursday, a judge sentenced the dealership’s owner, Joseph Stasney, to roughly 3 1/2 years behind bars after he pled guilty to wire fraud. Prosecutors say he used various loan schemes to trick lenders out of a combined $250,000. Stasney was also ordered to pay more than $360,000 in restitution.
The dealership has been closed.
Gibson says he eventually started having problems with the repair work the shop did. He says the clear paint coating was coming off the car.
He says he used one of State Farm’s “preferred” shops because of the lifetime warranty, so he was hoping the agency would come up with a solution. But Gibson says the insurance company told him the warranty didn’t apply anymore.
“Soon as I got that call, your name come into my mind,” he told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.
Stoogenke emailed State Farm. It didn’t give an official statement other than it was “actively looking” into Gibson’s concerns and would contact him soon, which it did.
Gibson says a few days later, the company told him to take the car to another shop and that he wouldn’t have to pay for it. He says Action 9 saved him roughly $900.
“I feel good now,” he told Stoogenke.
Stoogenke says it’s always worth asking the company that referred the body shop to pick up the tab, but that most warranties usually die with the business. He says Gibson’s situation is a good reminder to make sure you choose a business carefully.
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